Boeing delivered the first of its new 737 MAX jets on Tuesday, handing the aircraft over to Malaysian low-cost carrier Malindo Air.
Malindo took delivery of the jet at a handover ceremony at Boeing Field in Seattle.
“We are thrilled to partner with Boeing to take the delivery of the world’s first Boeing 737 MAX,” Malindo Air CEO Chandran Rama Muthy said in a statement. “These new aircraft will allow us to go to further destinations and will play a key role in providing lower air fares to our customers.”
The MAX family is Boeing’s latest update to its popular 737 line of jetliners, used mostly for medium- and short-haul flights by airlines across the globe. This latest iteration marks the third major overhaul to the 737 since the program launched in 1967 and features new engines and other aerodynamic enhancements.
In total, Boeing’s MAX family of 737s has already recorded nearly 3,700 orders from 87 customers around the world.
While there had been much anticipation about the first delivery of the first 737 MAX, it was somewhat unexpected that Malindo Air ended up being the first to take one. Malindo moved to the front of the queue amid shifting delivery schedules for the other airlines that had been expected to receive theirs first.
TODAY IN THE SKY (December 2015): Boeing rolls out first 737 MAX (story continues below)
Southwest, one of the world’s largest operators of the 737, officially remains the “launch customer” for the 737 MAX, though it’s not expected to take delivery of its first model of the variant until this summer.
The next airline to take delivery of the MAX is all but certain to be fast-growing Norwegian Air, which likely will receive its first 737 MAX by early June.
Later in the month, Norwegian will use the jet on new European routes its launching from three mid-size…